Saturday, December 17, 2011


Instead of doing my regular thing, I want to talk very briefly about bad legislation. I don't normally like to talk politics. I'm rather cynical about the whole thing, in general and I have somewhat libertarian views.  Still I normally avoid talking politics because I get so frustrated at the rampant corruption that anymore is inherit in the system, and the even worse partisanship that prevents so many people from realizing how stupid they are for supporting one candidate or the other because of a letter attached to their name (D or R). But I digress...

Friday, December 9, 2011

Seven Samurai

Today, I am reviewing Akira Kurosawa's masterpiece Seven Samurai. This is easily one of the most well-known and influential movies not only in Japan but in the entire world. And while I normally balk at movies that hint of "classic" this is one of the few that in my opinion deserves the title. This movie is a classic in all the best meanings of the word.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Coraline is a stop-motion animated film based on Neil Gaiman's book of the same name. It is a horror fantasy that can be genuinely creepy at times. Heck, at a couple scenes you might ask whether or not you'd want your kids watching it for fear they'd have nightmares. I think it is pretty safe for most kids, but it can be pretty creepy.

Saturday, December 3, 2011


Genshiken (in Japanese it's short for "The Society for the Study of Modern Visual Culture") is a Manga (and anime adaptation) written by Kio Shimoku. It is the story of a college sci-fi/fantasy/anime/manga/videogames/nerd club in Japan.
More accurately, it's a slice-of-life manga/anime about an otaku club at a Univeristy in Japan. The main protagonist is Kanji Sasahara, who starts out his first year at college wondering if he should join the manga club or the anime club. He loves both, but is still so shy about admitting his otaku-hood that he can't bring himself to join either. Then he discovers Genshiken, the really hardcore otaku club. As they say, hilarity ensues as Sasahara discovers who he truely is through the exploration of his hobbies.

Freaks and Geeks

Freaks and geeks was an hour-long show that aired in the '99-2000 season. However, it got the FOX treatment, as NBC canceled the show after 12 episodes. (18 were filmed.) It's the story of Lindsey, a former honor student who decided to start hanging out with the slackers; and her younger brother, Sam, a kid that everyone at my college sci-fi/fantasy club can relate to. They attend high school in 1982 Michigan. And that's the basic set-up.


009-1 is a 13-episode, alternate-history, sci-fi, spy/espionage anime based on the manga of the same name by influential manga artist Shotaro Ishinomori. (Creator of such manga as Cyborg 009 [the title of this show is actually an allusion to Cyborg 009] and such TV shows as Kamen Rider). Think James Bond as an anime with a protagonist who’s a cross between 007 himself, Cate Archer from No One Lives Forever, and Cameron the “good” female terminator from The Sarah Connor Chronicles.

The first thing you need to know about this series is that its artwork is a much older style, dating from the 60s or earlier. For some reason (and I asked around, I’m not the only person that gets this impression) this makes it seem like the show is for a much younger audience. IT IS NOT. This is most definitely a show for an older audience. I’ll get to that later, though. Just keep this in mind.